Following the successful Irish tour of the Silent Books in 2017, IBBY Ireland has acquired a set of the wordless picture books. Selected from six continents and updated over the last year, the collection now includes the wonderful Owl Bat Bat Owl by Irish illustrator and author Marie Louise Fitzpatrick.
The fifty books tell stories that transcend language and strengthen intercultural understanding, a cornerstone of IBBY’s vision in its seventy-six member countries. Whimsical, profound and gorgeous to look at, the picture books are superb springboards for creativity among diverse groups: from immigrants to artists and from toddlers to youth groups; from children in mainstream education to adults with special learning needs.
Refugees have used the books in family workshops. In an empowering role reversal, Syrian primary pupils in County Clare told the stories depicted in the Silent Books to an audience of their parents in order to practise their oral skills and to teach English to the mothers and fathers who don’t have the benefit of school immersion in the new language. Primary school pupils have also used the books to explore different cultures, create their own stories and invent new worlds from the books.
For anyone interested in using the Silent Books, these superb creative and educational tools will be available from IBBY Ireland in the new year. More details to follow.